Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has been one of the most talked about athletes ever since his team beat the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field on Sunday. The athlete participated in some questionable conduct on the green and got many people talking, but Sherman wants to address the people who called him a “thug.”

His loud and proud post-game interview aimed at Michael Crabtree, which took place moments after his team won the playoff game that got them into the Super Bowl, went viral. His words placed him at the center of attention, but Sherman doesn’t think the label he’s been given since his infamous interview with Fox reporter Erin Andrews is appropriate. In fact, he feels it’s akin to being called the N-word.

"The only reason it bothers me is because it seems like it's the accepted way of calling somebody the N-word nowadays," Sherman said during a press conference quoted by the Huffington Post on Wednesday. "It's like everyone else said the N-word and they said 'Thug' and they're like, 'Ah, that's fine.' That's where it kind of takes me aback and it's kind of disappointing."

According to iQ Media via Deadspin, the word thug was said on television in the U.S. on Monday 625 times, which is more than it had been uttered any other day in three years. IQ Media added that Boston television stations set a new record on Monday, referring to the Seahawks player as a “thug” 36.

"What's the definition of a thug really?" Sherman asked reporters on Wednesday before comparing his antics to a recent NHL fight between the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames.

"Maybe I'm talking loudly and doing something I'm not supposed to. But I'm not ... there was a hockey game where they didn't even play hockey. They just threw the puck aside and started fighting. I saw that and said, 'Oh, man. I'm the thug? What's going on here?'"

By definition, Sherman is not a thug: proud, unpolished, unrefined, outspoken or even wrong -- sure. But what were people really trying to say about him by calling him a thug? He certainly didn’t once mention prostitutes in his post-tirade interview.

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